My International Movers

Essential Things Every American Should Know When Moving to Turkey

Julie Grace December 4, 2017
Posted December 4, 2017 In Living Abroad, Moving Tips&Tricks,
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Americans who are moving to Turkey have many things to learn about this country before the actual move. For example, did you know that it lies on two continents – Asian (95%) and European (5%)? And so does the largest city, Istanbul. If you’re lucky enough to be packing your suitcases for this adventure, then be aware you’ll be experiencing a completely different and unique culture. 

Gathering as much information as you can about the place you’ll call home is something you definitely should do. This means you should get to know all the pros and cons of immigration to Turkey. It’s one of the essential steps when moving overseas and wanting to learn more about living overseas in a country like this. Also, living as an expat during Coronavirus is a challenging task. The better prepared you are, the less inconvenience you’ll run into. So here’s our guide to all the things you should be aware of before relocating to the birthplace of famous Turkish tea and baklava.

Moving to Turkey From the USA – What Every Expat Should Expect

Thinking about changing your lifestyle and relocating to one of the friendliest countries in the world? If so, then you’re not asking yourself is it a good idea to move to Turkey. We all know how challenging of a process relocating and figuring out how to live abroad can be. However, when you have the hospitality of the locals and a place where you can visit all the landmarks and interesting things all year round, the adjustment period will be much smoother.

Its position fascinates many people, and the fact that Istanbul lies on two continents just makes the place even more attractive. Both oriental and European sides will give you a feeling like you’re in a completely different place. With an ancient history, unique food, and beautiful beaches, no wonder it’s a desirable destination for more than 45 million international tourists a year (more than 2.5 million tourists visited Istanbul in the first six months in the year 2021).

What Should I Know Before Moving to Turkey – Facts About the Nation

Regardless of your reasons for the move (whether you are relocating to another country for love or a job opportunity), you have to be prepared for unexpected customs and traditions. The interesting thing is that this is a Muslim nation with more than 85 million residents. Here are other interesting facts to get familiar with:

  • Istanbul isn’t the capital, Ankara is.
  • Byzantium was the first name of Istanbul,
  • The median age of the nation is 31 years, which makes it one of the youngest countries in Europe,
  • Turkish is the official language, but there are more than 30 languages spoken,
  • The currency is the Turkish lira and it’s worth $0.12,
  • Santa Claus is originally from here,
  • Tea is the most popular drink,
  • Around 75% of hazelnut export in the world comes from here,
  • Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar has 64 streets and 4,000 shops,
  • One of the oldest sports here is oil wrestling,
  • Turks are known for their bread,
  • Some of the most beautiful mosques ( a total of 82,693 in the country) are situated here,
  • Black Sea’s coastline stretches for 730 miles (1,175 km),
  • The Mediterranean semi-continental climate is a great reason why many tourists decide to stay here permanently.
Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No Hidden fees or surprises! FREE ESTIMATE

What Documentation Should You Gather to Become an Expat

Relocating across the world brings many benefits and opportunities. But, without good preparation, relocation stress can ruin the whole experience. So, as soon as you decide to move to one of the best countries to live in, you should start planning.

Begin with making a relocation abroad checklist where you’ll put all the tasks you have to do. The first task of the list should definitely be to gather the documents needed to travel abroad. Only then can you think about what to pack and start planning the relocation day preparation.

So, besides a valid passport, ensure all other documents are up to date and apply early for a visa. In the following text, we’ll talk about the visa application, residence permit, and how to obtain citizenship.

Residence Permit and Work Visa – All the Paperwork You Should Have

Can you just move to Turkey? The answer is no, as it would be for most countries all over the globe. Besides having a passport valid for at least another six months, you can apply for:

  • A long-term visa – visit the embassy or consulate, or just fill the online forms,
  • A residence permit – obtain it from local authorities before you spend 90 days in the country,
  • Work permit – if you’re relocating for work, then you better prepare some of the most important questions to ask your employer.

What to Do to Obtain a Turkish Citizenship

People often think they need a lot of time and some special skills to obtain a Turkish passport. But, their citizenship is one of the easiest ones to get. Still, you have to do some of the following things:

  • Buy a property worth at least $250,000,
  • Live there for five years,
  • Work there under contract for at least five years.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Turkey – Explore the Cost of Living

The important thing for all Americans, living in Turkey is more affordable than in the US. In fact, it’s lower by around 50%. This means that a single person will spend about $400 (3,470 TL) without rent. The family of four will spend on average $1,400 (12,147 TL) without rent.

So, relocating here doesn’t mean only the benefits of getting to see so many different and remarkable landmarks for American expats. It also means a good quality of life.

Choosing One of the Best Cities to Call Home Won’t Be a Piece of Cake Here

Finding a new home is a time-consuming process. It depends on many factors, such as work opportunities, your personal preferences, and many others. Knowing how to live in another place and make the best of it also means deciding whether you want to buy a property or rent, as well. Luckily, wherever you choose to stay, you’ll surely find a suitable home. So, here are cities that most expats find attractive.

Living in Istanbul (City of the World’s Desire) – What to Expect in the Most Populous City

Want to find a home in the biggest city that can give an ancient and modern vibe at the same time? Then Old Constantinople is the right place for you, even though it’s not the capital (as many people think). But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the most populous city here following the tradition of being the most jam-packed city in the world – which it was back in 1502.

Thanks to all the diversity you can find here and so many different people who set up their homes here, this city has one of the greatest expat communities.

Ankara – Great Lifestyle and Different Pace of Life

The Turkish capital is the second-largest city, and it will give you a slightly different pace of life. Ankara has many great job opportunities, and it’s famous for its long-haired Angora goat and wool (mohair). Also, Agora cats are very famous in the world that originally come from Ankara. So if you want to be around animals and still make money from it, this is the place.

One of the Oldest Cities in Turkey – Izmir

If you’re one of those people who like being in the sun, then Izmir is the city to check out. It’s the third-most populous city here, and it’s situated in the Gulf of Izmir. Although it’s one of the oldest cities, there are more and more tourists and people who want to live here. It’s not surprising that there are more and more Americans living in Turkey.

Antalya – Gateway to the Mediterranean Region

Do you enjoy crowded places all year long? And even better if it’s a popular tourist spot? The city of Antalya is a gateway to the Turkish Riviera and has wonderful Roman ruins, like the ancient Roman bridge.

If you still can’t decide which city to choose, here’s how much you’ll pay for utilities, rent and transportation in each one, according to Numbeo:

Location Utilities Rent Transportation (monthly pass)
Istanbul 515 TL ($60) 2,975 TL ($350) 270 TL ($30)
Ankara 620 TL ($70) 2,000 TL ($240) 225 TL ($25)
Izmir 585 TL ($70) 2,300 TL ($270) 150 TL ($17)
Antalya 250 TL ($30) 1,800 TL ($200) 250 TL ($30)

All You Need to Know About Turkish Health Insurance and Education System

Picking one of the greatest places to be in means all the criteria that matter to you are satisfied. That’s why you have to be sure that healthcare and insurance systems meet your needs. Like in many countries globally, public healthcare insurance is not bad, but the waiting times can belong. Many expats choose the private one. With private schools in every city, the education system is accessible to the residents that haven’t learned the language yet.

Start With Language Lessons Before the International Move Because Your English Won’t Help You Get Around

One of the biggest challenges for most Americans is the language when considering relocating here. Turks are notoriously famous for not speaking other languages. Maybe some of them will understand you in the more touristy places, but it’s better to start learning the language before the move.

Breaking the language barrier will be your most effective way to make your everyday life easier once you settle down. Getting some tips for learning a new language, especially Turkish – a very specific one, is a must. In the video below, you’ll find some tips that could be useful for beginners.

It’s Good to Have a Car When Relocating to Turkey, But the Transportation Network Is Excellent

Once you relocate to Turkey, you’ll see that public transport is excellent. There’s a vast public transportation network, and the most commonly used modes of transportation are the bus, metro, tram, and taxi. Then you’re probably wondering why shipping your vehicle overseas is a good idea? Most certainly not for commuting and everyday travel, but it would be a pity not to visit all the landmarks there are just because you don’t have your vehicle, right?

A Country With Rich Historical Areas, Beaches, and Other Entertainment

Because of its cultural variety and geographical location, you can find all kinds of stuff to do in your free time. From visiting the ancient ruins and buildings to checking out famous tourist spots and beaches. Since there are many things to see, you better create a list of the most important ones. For example, you shouldn’t skip Cappadocia, the beautiful Patara coastline, ancient site Ephesus, the mineral spring pools of Pamukkale, and many more.

You’ll Live in a Culture and Tradition That Is Completely Different

Many of us are drawn to this place because of the way of life and rich culture. If you know somebody who has visited this wonderful place before, you have probably heard all about the vibrant cities and very different cultures from the one you come from. Although the locals respect their culture and traditions, they are more than welcoming to foreigners. However, it’s better to do your homework and read a bit about the norms and customs that must be respected – especially religion-related ones.

Besides the Rich Culture, You’ll Find Exquisite Cuisine and Music That Will Get to Expats’ Hearts

Not only will your mind and eyes experience all the benefits of this place, but your palate and ears will, too. Turks are famous all over the globe for their exquisite cuisine. There are so many dishes you can try only in that area and nowhere else. So, if you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy the most popular dish, baklava, in their local restaurants with traditional music. Turks are very proud of their heritage, and music is most certainly a part of it.

Reliable International Moving Company Will Make Your Dream Come True

Relocating to a completely different place requires a lot of preparation. That’s why you should hire an international moving company that knows how to move overseas. Whether you want to buy property or rent in a new destination, having a reliable moving crew with packing services and a storage facility for some of your stuff is essential. That way, the transition to this wonderful place will go much more smoothly.



      Ready to Move With Us?

      Get a Free Estimate 888-888-8449